New Acela service!

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New Acela service!
Posted by 243129 on Friday, July 26, 2019 8:53 AM
(CNN) — Train travel between New York City and Washington is now faster than ever.
On Thursday, Amtrak announced that starting in September it will offer a new direct route between Washington Union Station (WAS) and New York Penn Station (NYP). The Acela Nonstop service is the first of several new projects for the transportation company, which will include an additional direct route from New York to Boston starting in 2020.
"The new Acela Nonstop service will have you halfway to your New York City or DC destination in the time it would take you to board a flight," Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson said in a statement. "This new service will offer an ideal solution for travelers who want to save time and travel between city center DC and New York."
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Travelers can expect one southbound (NYP-WAS will depart at 6:35 a.m.) and one northbound (WAS-NYP will depart at 4:30 p.m.) train per day.
The journey between the two major cities has been cut nearly in half. Riders can expect to travel for two hours and 35 minutes instead of four hours with the direct service. Flight times between the two cities are approximately 90 minutes, and that doesn't include getting to the airport, security and boarding.
The company's standard Quiet Car and First Class services will continue to be offered on the new routes.
Tickets are already available for purchase through Amtrak's website, with the first scheduled departure on Monday, September 23. A one-way saver ticket from WAS to NYP is priced at $130.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/amtrak-acela-nonstop-trnd/index.html

 

"Faster than ever"? The Metroliners of 1969 did it in two hours and 30 minutes and that was 50 years ago. Anderson is touting this as a great accomplishment under his leadership.

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 26, 2019 10:18 AM

Yes, but...  it's sure shorter than three hours!

Something interesting to me is that with German-style stop discipline this timing should easily allow 'two hours and 59 civilized minutes' with intermediate stops at Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore.  That would bring back Metroliners with a bang!

Of course, the older trains tore themselves and the track up trying to run at the speeds that 2h30' involved, so it's not entirely fair to invoke the MP85 'experience' as a workable precedent.  On the other hand ... if this trick works with the older Acela equipment twice a day, imagine the fun when the Avelia Liberty sets start coming on board...

The actual "news" in this announcement, though, has nothing to do with New York to Washington: it's in the 'second route' starting in 2020.  If it goes via the Empire Connection, it may take considerable congestion off the Shore Line as the wirework etc. proceeds ... and from what I saw driving my daughter up the Connecticut Turnpike a month ago, that's a lot of work.  (Also some presumable fun with engine change in the NYP yard, but that's another story; it might be highly interesting to see pantograph-equipped dual-modes in that service...)

My suspicion is that the 'second route' will go by way of New Haven/Hartford on the 'new' Springfield track ... but it's going to be interesting either way.

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Posted by oltmannd on Friday, July 26, 2019 10:48 AM

Yeah, there was a 2:30 Metroliner for a short while.  I think it was tried again with AEM7 powered "Metroliner Service", maybe 2:40 then?

Things are different now.  Engineers can't "cheat" on speed.  It was pretty common back in the early Metroliner era.  I remember seeing 127 through Princeton Jct in 1969.  GG1 hauled trains that were allowed 80 by TT often ran into the mid 90s.

There is also more traffic on the NEC these days, particularly south of Phila and through the North River tunnels.

So, maybe 2:35 for 135mph Acela isn't so terrible, if it is reliable.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, July 26, 2019 11:14 AM

We can hope so.  The new equipment is lighter,  so should have more rapidly acceleration and deceleration,  which would speed up dwell time with stops,  even if Amtrak continues with excessively long times at stations.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 26, 2019 11:16 AM

oltmannd
I remember seeing 127 through Princeton Jct in 1969.

Over the crossovers???  Ee-YOW!

Of course there was the premise there would be a 150mph railroad to match the 150mph trains, and lots of money was earmarked for that -- it just never got particularly well-allocated or wisely spent.  The Carter initiative for '150mph' that had the politically-compromised minority setaside percentage was one classic example.  It's hard to imagine that all the work I saw done, or thought I saw getting done, in those years didn't make much difference.

We have now gotten to the point where significant stretches of the Corridor are far better built than in the late '60s or perhaps even the latter '80s where some very interesting 'cowboy' running could be observed before Gatesie brought down the boom.  In particular I have seen some suggestive speedometer pictures from the Acelas that were tested between Trenton and New Brunswick not that long ago.  A couple of special trips per day might become fast, indeed, even if the structural bottlenecks on the route aren't eliminated until much later.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 26, 2019 12:03 PM

Is it true that when PC offered the non stop that the city of Baltimore sued to require it to stop at BAL Penn?  And then CR started stopping there and a few other stations?

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, July 26, 2019 2:00 PM

No schedules are ever the equal of 'running time'.  There is always elements of slop built into any schedule.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 26, 2019 9:49 PM

Remember in the past that engineers could exceed the max speed limits with little or no consequence.  Today no way !

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, July 27, 2019 6:51 AM

blue streak 1

Remember in the past that engineers could exceed the max speed limits with little or no consequence.  Today no way !

 

Exactly.  And yet someone who from his vast claimed experience should know that,  ridicules the new timing. Just a humbug. 

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, July 27, 2019 7:04 AM

blue streak 1

Remember in the past that engineers could exceed the max speed limits with little or no consequence.  Today no way !

 

One engineer claims that he never went faster than the speed limit.

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Posted by 243129 on Saturday, July 27, 2019 7:47 AM

charlie hebdo

 

 
blue streak 1

Remember in the past that engineers could exceed the max speed limits with little or no consequence.  Today no way !

 

 

 

Exactly.  And yet someone who from his vast claimed experience should know that,  ridicules the new timing. Just a humbug. 

 

Are you looking to 'engage' chuck?

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Posted by 243129 on Saturday, July 27, 2019 7:48 AM

Backshop
One engineer claims that he never went faster than the speed limit.

This engineer claims that.

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Posted by Alan Follett on Saturday, July 27, 2019 7:57 AM

Overmod

The actual "news" in this announcement, though, has nothing to do with New York to Washington: it's in the 'second route' starting in 2020.  If it goes via the Empire Connection, it may take considerable congestion off the Shore Line as the wirework etc. proceeds ... and from what I saw driving my daughter up the Connecticut Turnpike a month ago, that's a lot of work.  (Also some presumable fun with engine change in the NYP yard, but that's another story; it might be highly interesting to see pantograph-equipped dual-modes in that service...)

My suspicion is that the 'second route' will go by way of New Haven/Hartford on the 'new' Springfield track ... but it's going to be interesting either way.

 

I don’t think they really mean a new route in the sense of a different line, say via Springfield.  Note that the CNN reporter also refers to the New York-Washington nonstop as a “new direct route.”  The media don’t always get rail terminology right.  More likely what Amtrak said is that there will be a new express service on the New York-Boston leg of the NEC.

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, July 27, 2019 10:11 AM

BaltACD

No schedules are ever the equal of 'running time'.  There is always elements of slop built into any schedule.

 

Doesn't "padding" sound beter than "slop?" Big Smile

Johnny

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Posted by 243129 on Saturday, July 27, 2019 11:11 AM

On the New York City to Boston 'high speed route'  do not forget to factor in the albatross. Metro-North.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, July 27, 2019 1:57 PM

Deggesty
 
BaltACD

No schedules are ever the equal of 'running time'.  There is always elements of slop built into any schedule. 

Doesn't "padding" sound beter than "slop?" Big Smile

Depends upon the Engineer!  Some need all the slop, some don't need any padding.

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Posted by aegrotatio on Saturday, July 27, 2019 9:36 PM

Well, the Metroliner 2:30 trip was also a non-stop train.

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, July 29, 2019 6:47 AM

243129

On the New York City to Boston 'high speed route'  do not forget to factor in the albatross. Metro-North.

 
And just what do you propose to minimize interference with suburban trains?
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 29, 2019 10:49 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
243129

On the New York City to Boston 'high speed route'  do not forget to factor in the albatross. Metro-North. 

And just what do you propose to minimize interference with suburban trains?

The 'albatross' is Metro-North restricting speed on the little piece of the Corridor they administer, not an issue with train density at different times of day.  Personally I don't see any objective engineering reason why the number of true high-speed limited-stop trains Amtrak would run from Boston 'through' to Washington via NYP would interfere dramatically with suburban traffic flow from the Connecticut line to the east approaches to Penn Station... if a good CBTC/PTC system were running, as I thought it was supposed to be. by now.

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Posted by oltmannd on Monday, July 29, 2019 12:06 PM

Overmod
Personally I don't see any objective engineering reason why the number of true high-speed limited-stop trains Amtrak would run from Boston 'through' to Washington via NYP would interfere dramatically with suburban traffic flow from the Connecticut line to the east approaches to Penn Station... if a good CBTC/PTC system were running, as I thought it was supposed to be. by now.

New Rochelle to New Haven is something like 60 miles.  The PTC system is likely built on the back of coded cab signals ala PRR/Amtrak/ACSES.  Probably impacts capacity a bit. Certainly no help...

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, July 29, 2019 2:39 PM

oltmannd

 

 
Overmod
Personally I don't see any objective engineering reason why the number of true high-speed limited-stop trains Amtrak would run from Boston 'through' to Washington via NYP would interfere dramatically with suburban traffic flow from the Connecticut line to the east approaches to Penn Station... if a good CBTC/PTC system were running, as I thought it was supposed to be. by now.

 

New Rochelle to New Haven is something like 60 miles.  The PTC system is likely built on the back of coded cab signals ala PRR/Amtrak/ACSES.  Probably impacts capacity a bit. Certainly no help...

 

 

How many tracks is the mainline?  Two?  Four?  If the latter,  why should commuter trains interfere with a nonstop NH to Hell's Gate run? 

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Posted by oltmannd on Monday, July 29, 2019 3:14 PM

charlie hebdo
How many tracks is the mainline?  Two?  Four?  If the latter,  why should commuter trains interfere with a nonstop NH to Hell's Gate run? 

There are 36 trains a day arriving GCT from the NH side between 7 and 9 AM.  The schedules are arranges so that the trains make some number of distant stops, then run express the rest of the way in.  Lots of overtaking moves.  Amtrak trains not only have to fit into this flow, they have to pick their way across to their line to Hell Gate at New Rochelle.  (MN runs from NH to New Rochelle, and then on to GCT from there.  Amtrak diverges at New Rochelle NY onto their Hell Gate bridge "branch".  The Shell interlocking at New Rochelle is "at grade" and is, and has long been, a capacity pinch point.

Even the limited stop, mostly express NH to GCT rush hour trains take 1:50 for a 73 mile trip only 40 mph avg.

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, July 29, 2019 3:47 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
And just what do you propose to minimize interference with suburban trains?

"And just what"? Nothing. It is their railroad and Amtrak is at their mercy.

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, July 29, 2019 3:50 PM

oltmannd
Even the limited stop, mostly express NH to GCT rush hour trains take 1:50 for a 73 mile trip only 40 mph avg.

The 9:06 PM non rush hour train to New Haven 2 hours and six minutes.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, July 29, 2019 9:11 PM

charlie hebdo

  New Rochelle to New Haven is something like 60 miles.  The PTC system is likely built on the back of coded cab signals ala PRR/Amtrak/ACSES.  Probably impacts capacity a bit. Certainly no help...

 

How many tracks is the mainline?  Two?  Four?  If the latter,  why should commuter trains interfere with a nonstop NH to Hell's Gate run? 

 

Unfortunately from New Rochelle to New Haven for the forseeable future ( 2050 ) there will be one or more 2 track pinch points due to the replacement of the 100+ year old draw bridges.  Walk bridge is the present one now being replaced.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, July 29, 2019 9:16 PM

30 years to replace some bridges?   American know-how? AWOL. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 6:37 AM

charlie hebdo

30 years to replace some bridges?   American know-how? AWOL. 

 
American know-how is still there as the engineering is straightforward.  Money and political will are lacking.
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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 11:59 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 

 
charlie hebdo

30 years to replace some bridges?   American know-how? AWOL. 

 

 

 
American know-how is still there as the engineering is straightforward.  Money and political will are lacking.
 

I think know-how includes the will to make good things happen and knowing how to find the money.  Perhaps what is missing now is a phrase we never/seldom hear anymore - "can do" which used to be a driving principle.

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Posted by NKP guy on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 2:43 PM

charlie hebdo
a phrase we never/seldom hear anymore - "can do" which used to be a driving principle.

   You're right.  I never hear this these days.  It might as well be one of those "forgotten phrases" one hears on Sirius Radio's channel 40's on 4 ("On the next chance you get, try this one out....")

   Still, I have been impressed by how fast the new Hudson River bridge at Tarrytown has been constructed, including the removal of the old one.  Maybe New York State ought to get the same team working on the long-awaited extension of the 2nd Avenue Subway.  

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 3:47 PM

charlie hebdo

30 years to replace some bridges?   American know-how? AWOL. 

 

1st CT does not have enough funds to replace all the bridges at once!  2nd if more locations are two track due to constructions then time keeping will go out the window.  It is hard enough to schedule trains around one pinch point.  Can you imagine scheduling trains around 3 or 4 non equi distance pinch points ?

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